Franchitti dominates IndyCar season opener

March 27, 2011 at 4:08 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 (UPI) -- Dario Franchitti started his defense of his IZOD IndyCar Series championship Sunday with a convincing win in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Franchitti, of Chip Ganassi Racing, busted past pole-sitter Will Power after a restart on the fifth lap and never looked back, turning in a dominating performance in the season-opening IndyCar event.

He was out of the top only during his two pit stops, finishing 7.2 seconds ahead of Team Penske's Power.

Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology-Lotus came in third, holding off a hard-charging Simona de Silvestro down the stretch.

De Silvestro, meanwhile, notched a career-best fourth-place finish and Takuma Sato rounded out the top five finishers.

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